Planet Earth stories

RSS

Bouncing towards an ice-free summer

One warm year and we're told an Arctic without sea ice is just around the corner; the next cold one and it's claimed the ice is recovering. Ed Hawkins explains why Arctic melting will continue to be erratic for the foreseeable future - but says the overall trend is only heading one way.

5 Feb 2016

A dose of nature

What do you get when you cross ecology with psychotherapy? Quite possibly you end up with profound benefits for people's wellbeing - and for the health of the NHS. Dan Bloomfield explains why for many chronically ill or isolated people help could lie just beyond their front door.

22 Jan 2016

Tags: Ecology, Health, UK

Looking to the future of conservation

As NERC looks forward to its next 50 years, we can't know for sure what issues will arise. But some scientists have had their eye on the future for some time. Tom Marshall talks to Bill Sutherland about his work bringing environmental research into the 21st century.

14 Dec 2015

NERC and M&S - The science of sustainable retail

Dr Claire Quinn's job is to help ensure UK food and clothing retailer Marks & Spencer gets access to the scientific knowledge it needs. Tom Marshall finds out how her knowledge exchange Fellowship has been an enlightening experience on both sides.

27 Nov 2015

Science in action: Watching the birds

How the UK's birds of prey were saved from the malign effects of 20th-century pesticides is a great example of scientific detective work - and it also shows the immense value of monitoring the natural environment over long periods. Tom Marshall tells the story.

13 Nov 2015

What's past is prologue

Two former chief executives tell us what they valued most about their time at NERC and how they've seen the environmental science landscape change.

27 Oct 2015

Shutting the flood gates

In 1953, more than 300 people died in the UK alone when heavy storms swept a high spring tide over sea defences and across coastal towns in north-east England and Scotland. Today floods still make headlines but our ability to limit their effects has come a long way. Adele Walker explains why.

19 Oct 2015

NERC then and now

The past may be a foreign country, but when it comes to the ancient history of the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) it's one that feels oddly like home. As part of the events to mark NERC's 50th anniversary, Tom Marshall spent a stint in the archives. He describes what it revealed about the organisation's early years.

5 Oct 2015

A model approach

The Met Office also celebrates a 50th anniversary this year - their first numerical weather prediction was in 1965. Their chief scientist Dame Julia Slingo shares her perspective on developments in weather, climate and environmental-change research since then.

18 Sep 2015

The failure of genomics

Biology is in the grip of a genomics revolution - but Mark Viney thinks this may have taken a wrong turn. He says that just DNA sequencing genes isn't enough - we need to get back to finding out what each one does.

4 Sep 2015